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We do not recommend you do this without a glass barrier, but would you even be so gutsy as to try it even with one? While this man seems to be having fun with this young lioness, zoo officials do not typically encourage this behavior. The lion, Africa’s most popular and historic species, is not just insanely beautiful, but it is also insanely strong.

The epic showdown between this lioness and this gutsy man seems cute and playful, but if you really think about it, this could potentially go very wrong if it wasn’t for the glass barrier that separated the two. The man is seen prowling on the spectator side, with the lioness who was initially hanging out minding her own business, eyeing his movements from far away. Clearly trying to trigger her, the man starts moving rapidly on all fours, making sudden movements to trigger her curiosity.

Man Has Showdown With Lioness At Zoo

As he begins to move laterally, the lioness gets up, curiously or fearfully, we can’t necessarily tell. Either way, she is alarmed at his movements which triggers her to get up or she wants to play. As he moves up to the glass to get closer, another lioness joins the original one in their wonder at the man. They begin to play with him, pawing at the screen and opening their intimidating jaws to bare their teeth.

He continues to move around, and the first lioness stays moving with him. Personally, I think out of natural instincts, the lioness was originally in a defensive move, making sure she wasn’t in danger. But it seems that throughout the video, she sees the man means no harm, and I personally believe she starts to get playful with him.

Now does this mean that lions can be casually played with if confronted? Heck no. There’s no doubt that if there was a lack of barrier, that even if the lioness was actually just playing, that the man wouldn’t be severely harmed. Lions, if they aren’t aggressive, are still significantly stronger than humans, and I’m sure this man would not be alive if he was to actually just “play” with this lioness.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on February 29, 2016.

Watch: Lion-Hearted House Cat Picks Fight With Actual Lion And Refuses To Back Down

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Lauren Pineda is a writer with a background in music journalism and pop culture. Her best writing comes from her passion for storytelling and connecting her audience. She lives and breathes any live music show or art event and enjoys listening to peoples’ stories.
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